volume 11 | number 1 | fall 2017
The Magazine of the Fashion Institute of Technology
WELCOME TO HUE’S INNOVATION ISSUE! The Magazine of the Fashion
If you Google the word “innovation,” you will get 595 million entries—up 40 million
Institute of Technology
from just last month when I last checked. Clearly, it is a buzzword in business and
Hue is for alumni and friends of FIT, a
academia. It is a buzzword here at FIT, too, but one that surely applies since it is part
college of art and design, business and technology. It is published three times a
of our daily conversation on curriculum and the label we consciously and correctly
year by the Division of Communications
place on so many of our initiatives. As you page through this issue of Hue, dedicated
and External Relations, 227 West
to innovation, you will see just a few examples: faculty research in wearable technol-
27 Street, Room B905, New York,
ogy, cosmetics, textiles, biophilic design; emerging technology in the classroom; an Peter Freed
NY 10001-5992, 212 217.4700.
alumnus’s foray into 3D-printed shoes; advanced inroads in sustainability; the exciting projects emerging from our FIT/Infor Design and Tech Lab; and FIT’s
membership in the national Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA). Vice President for Communications and External Relations Loretta Lawrence Keane Assistant Vice President for Communications Carol Leven
Our efforts in this realm have been inspired and nurtured, in good part, by the college’s strategic plan, whose second, and most aspirational, goal is that FIT be “an innovation center for creative industries worldwide.” That is a tall order, but one we expect eventually to fulfill. Indeed, in spring 2017, with the assistance of a consulting firm and in collaboration with a cross section of the entire FIT community, we developed a strategic plan for innovation at FIT. Its 11 recommendations, accompanied by an action-oriented timeline,
Editor Linda Angrilli
not only provide a roadmap that will integrate, strengthen, and formalize our efforts, but will also accomplish
Managing Editor Alex Joseph MA ’15
wide conversation about the plan with town hall meetings—and start its implementation as well. Enjoy this
our goal—and transform FIT into an eminent innovation leader. In the fall, we will continue our communityissue of Hue—and stay tuned!
Staff Writer Jonathan Vatner
Editorial Assistant Laura Hatmaker
Photography Coordinator Smiljana Peros
Art Direction and Design
Gary Tooth/Empire Design Studio
Dr. Joyce F. Brown President
Hue online: hue.fitnyc.edu Email: email@example.com FIT Newsroom: news.fitnyc.edu Like the FIT Alumni page on Facebook
ON THE COVER
and follow @FITAlumni on Twitter. Email
This issue has a special
the Office of Alumni Engagement and
innovation theme, so we
Giving at firstname.lastname@example.org
needed a very special cover
and let us know what you’ve been up to.
to set the stage. We got one,
The Magazine of the Fashion Institute of Technology
thanks to the spectacularly talented Anita Rundles, BFA
Printed by Maar Printing Service on New Leaf Ingenuity. This paper is: Ancient Forest Friendly Sustainable Forestry Initiative Made with 100 percent post-consumer waste fiber Processed Chlorine Free
Please recycle or share this magazine.
an elegantly dressed 18thcentury woman (we especially love the lace sleeves) wearing a virtual-reality volume 11 | number 1 | fall 2017
Environmental Savings as compared to paper using 100 percent virgin fiber. 60 trees preserved 57,472 gallons of water saved 5,880 lbs of waste not generated 19,318 lbs CO 2 not generated 50 MMBTUs of energy not consumed 25 lbs nitrous oxide gas prevented
Illustration ’13. She created
headset; this lovely lady is entranced by a fanciful VR creature, part natural and part…something else. We wanted to capture the
8/31/17 3:04 PM
notion that throughout human history, we have always looked toward the future, imagining the impossible and then making it real.
As you look through these pages, follow the little green critter to find
stories about innovation. It’s inspiring to see the achievements of our 100% PCW
faculty, students, and alumni. As always, we’d love to hear from you, so let us know what you think. Email us at email@example.com.
Anita Rundles, BFA Illustration ’13, who drew this issue’s cover, is a Brooklyn-based illustrator and fine artist originally from New England. She works in pen and ink, digital, and mixed media, with a focus on portraits, fashion illustration–inspired figure drawing, and outdoor documentary drawing. Clients have included Bloomberg, Abrams Books, and WNYC (New York Public Radio).
Diana Schoenbrun, MFA Illustration ’16 (Oh, the Places We’ll Go!, p. 6), is an illustrator, designer, and author based in Brooklyn. She designs Golden Books for Penguin Random House, and she illustrated Take Your Octopus to School Day, to be published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2018.
One-Touch Manufacturing It took over 100 hours for Troy Nachtigall ’04 to 3D-print this shoe for the Dutch minister of education, innovation, and science. See “The Footwear of Tomorrow,” page 22.
Features 6 OH, THE PLACES WE’LL GO! Experts featured in this issue predict a wild, high-tech future (It’s closer than you think)
8 GEARING UP adget lovers rejoice! Students experiment G with cool new technology
10 INNOVATION STATION Introducing the first campus space devoted to discovery
11 IS IT ETHICAL? How FIT’s Institutional Review Board promotes responsible research
11 TOP SOIL
Compost aids dye-plant growth, FIT study shows
12 THE HEALING POWER OF OBJECTS C an museums help to ease suffering? Professor Brenda Cowan’s research says yes
14 THE FUTURE OF FABRIC How Stacy Flynn ’98 could make our clothes more sustainable
17 ANATOMY OF A CARRY-ON Luxury luggage just got smarter
18 BUZZ FEED Eat a bug, save the planet
20 BENEATH THE SURFACE Suzanne Tick ’82 brings inspiration to contract textiles
21 S PECIAL SECTION: A WEARABLE FUTURE Check out these smart accessories invented by alumni
22 THE FOOTWEAR OF TOMORROW Troy Nachtigall ’04 is thinking out of the (shoe) box
24 PATCHWORK PROCESS A skin patch, developed by Megan Manco ’16, alerts your phone when you’re getting too much sun
25 SENSE OF DIRECTION Keith Kirkland ’10 helps the blind with GPS navigation using vibration, not voice
4 HUE’S NEWS 9
28 ALUMNI NOTES 31 WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
FIT PARTICIPATES IN PRESTIGIOUS RESEARCH CONSORTIUM
Looking Back at the Central Park Five
A STAR-STUDDED COMMENCEMENT At FIT’s 72nd annual commencement exercises, held this year at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, cosmetics mogul Essie Weingarten ’70 was given an honorary degree, and pioneering hip-hop artist, actor, and author LL COOL J received the President’s Award for Creative Excellence. Check out photos from the day on FIT’s Facebook page and video highlights at fitnyc.edu/commencement.
The Central Park Five are a group of black and Hispanic men who, as teenagers, were falsely convicted of beating and raping a jogger in Central Park in 1989, and spent from six to 13 years in prison. On February 15, three of the five, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, and Raymond Santana, came to FIT to discuss racial issues past and present, following the screening of an excerpt from Sarah Burns’s 2012 documentary about the notorious case and its aftermath. “When we got released and the film came out,” Richardson explained, “it became therapeutic to speak, especially to the youth, because we lost our youth. We didn’t have that, so we live for them.” President Joyce F. Brown, who introduced the event, talked about its timeliness and importance. “Twenty-eight years later, race remains a potent and divisive force in our society, as President Obama said before leaving office,” she said. “And this case continues to be controversial, animating many of the issues we struggle with as a society and that cause such dissension.” The event was presented by Bernard L. Dillard, associate professor of mathematics, in collaboration with the Presidential Scholars Program and the Office of Educational Opportunity Programs. It was sponsored by a President’s Diversity Grant and the UCE of FIT.
New Academic Building Wins Award FIT’s new academic building, to break ground in 2018, has won an Award for Excellence in Design from New York’s Public Design Commission. Designed by SHoP Architects, the building was one of 11 chosen from hundreds of submissions because it “reflects FIT’s commitment to openness, community engagement, and the robust exchange of ideas across many platforms.”
In 2016, MIT created Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), a wearable-technology lab funded by a five-year, $317 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense. AFFOA is one of 14 Manufacturing Innovation Institutes, overseen by the federal government, that are laying the groundwork for advanced manufacturing in the United States, from clean energy to flexible electronics. FIT has been selected as one of AFFOA’s 32 university partners, the only higher education institution in New York City to be invited. AFFOA is developing smart textiles; already the institute has produced a limited run of smart backpacks with JanSport and created a prototype of a fabric that can communicate using LED light. FIT has not been involved in these endeavors, but as more projects are announced, Joanne Arbuckle, deputy to the president for Industry Partnerships and Collaborative Programs, will be spearheading the college’s participation. “The project needs workforce development to produce these products,” Arbuckle said. “And that’s one of FIT’s strengths.”
Anna Wintour, Dr. Joyce F. Brown, Ralph Lauren, Tina Lundgren, Terry Lundgren, Ryan Seacrest, University of Arizona Provost Andrew Comrie, and Lee Comrie.
ANNUAL GALA HONORS LUNDGREN This year’s FIT/FIT Foundation Gala, held March 22 at the Marriott Marquis, honored Terry J. Lundgren—who retired as Macy’s CEO and president the following day. The event raised $4.5 million, which was shared evenly between FIT and the Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing at the University of Arizona. Ryan Seacrest hosted the event, and Ralph Lauren and Anna Wintour presented the award. See more photos and a video at fitnyc.edu/gala2017.
QUICK READ This fall, FIT begins offering AAS programs in Fashion Design and Fashion Business Management at SUNY Korea in Incheon. SUNY Korea, established in 2012, was the first American university in South Korea.
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During FIT’s Sustainability Awareness Week in March, representatives from Patagonia demonstrated the company's Worn Wear program, an effort to repair garments instead of throwing them away.
Regan Adair ’17 won first place for residential design in the Sherwin-Williams 2017 Student Design Challenge, and $2,500, for her richly colored space inspired by an Asian lacquered box.
Bee Sustainable FIT is buzzing about its new rooftop beehives. Last year, students Shona Neary and Sarah Langenbach created FIT Hives, an education program that connects FIT students with beekeepers from the New York City–based Honeybee Conservancy. They presented the project at the Clinton Global Initiative University at UC Berkeley in April 2016 and won a Think Big grant from FIT to build two hives. In addition, Max Hechtman, Film and Media, used an FIT student Innovation Grant to create a documentary about the project called FIT Hives: Sustainability—The Secret to Survival, currently screening at film festivals around the nation.
Force of Nature, at The Museum at FIT through November 18, examines the complex relationship between fashion and the natural world. The exhibition draws on fashions from the 18th century to the present that are inspired by myriad natural elements: flowers, butterflies, feathers, animal hides, the ocean, the cosmos, and more. Force of Nature was organized by Melissa Marra-Alvarez, associate curator of Education and Public Programs.
The Birds and the Bees (and the Flowers and the Trees)
A lightning-inspired evening ensemble by Turkish designer Arzu Kaprol, fall 2014.
THE FUTURE OF FOOTWEAR:
LAB-GROWN LEATHER The Biodesign Challenge is an international university competition that encourages students to envision new ways to harness living systems and biotechnology for the future. Team #GROWAPAIR literally grew this pair of nontoxic, biodegradable baby shoes from microbial cellulose, fungus, and pineapple. They softened the material, improved its flexiblity, and added flame-retardant and water-resistant properties by smoking it in an oven and tanning it with a slurry of animal brain, a Native American technique. The shoes were finished with beeswax, jojoba oil, and pine resin, and the soles are made of fungus. The team represented FIT at the 2017 Biodesign Challenge Summit, held at the Museum of Modern Art on June 22 and 23. FIT team Bioesters (now continuing their work under the name AlgiKnit) won the competition last year.
Dr. Kristina M. Johnson has been named SUNY’s 13th chancellor, beginning September 5. She was a provost at Johns Hopkins, a dean of engineering at Duke, and the U.S. Under Secretary of Energy under President Obama.
The Next Garment Center? New York City is committing $136 million to create a Made in New York– branded campus at Sunset Park’s Bush Terminal, featuring modern, affordable space for garment manufacturing and film and TV production. When it opens in 2020, the campus will offer 25 to 35 studio spaces to companies working in patternmaking, marking and grading, cutting and sewing, and sample making. FIT is the only institution offering courses at the hub. To start, FIT’s Center for Continuing and Professional Studies began holding noncredit courses at the nearby Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park this summer; they will count toward a Creative Maker Certificate in Ethical Design and Local Manufacturing.
At the SUNY Graduate Poster Symposium in Albany this spring, five Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management students presented their research about creating fragrances based on an individual’s DNA.
Toni Ko, founder of NYX cosmetics and Perverse sunglasses, professed the benefits of working smarter and harder at the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology’s Dean’s Forum in April.
Illustrations by Diana Schoenbrun MFA ’16 “All clothing will be designed to be broken down and converted into new products or a high-quality biological nutrient in the soil. There will be no separation between nature and fashion.” Stacy Flynn, Textile Development and Marketing ’99, CEO and co-founder of Evrnu
“When you’re cooking, you’ll be able to pull up a virtual window in midair to read the recipe. You won’t have to wash your hands to interact with it.” Patrick Obando, Advertising Design ’17
“Comfortable high-heeled shoes!”
Valerie Steele, director and chief curator, The Museum at FIT
“Virtual and augmented reality will become the next internet. These clunky headsets are going to go away, and companies will broadcast video directly onto your retina.” Thomas McManus, associate professor, Communication Design
“A fiber that can change colors or heat up to tell you you’ve been sitting too long.” Suzanne Tick, Textile Design ’82, brand strategist and product designer for commercial interiors 6
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“An organism, like a synthetic silk moth, that extrudes a fiber quickly, organically, and with minimal environmental impact, then feeds it into a machine that weaves or knits it into clothes on demand.” Michael Ferraro, executive director of the FIT/Infor Design and Tech Lab
“The boundaries of countries will no longer be necessary. In a world where everyone has access to a living wage and opportunities to explore passion-based innovation, there will be less need to keep people in or out of places.” Keith Kirkland, Accessories Design ’10, co-founder of WearWorks
“Clothes will memorize the shape of your body, and the shape and color will change based on your emotion.” Min Zhu, assistant professor, Textile Development and Marketing
“A drink that genetically modifies your feet to grow shoes.” Troy Nachtigall, Fashion Design ’04, designer and PhD candidate
“A biologically inspired future using the multifunctionality and efficiency of nature.” “DNA from fashion’s biggest names will be injected into babies, reinvigorating design and bringing it from the brink of extinction.” Jonathan Kyle Farmer, professor and chair, Fashion Design MFA
Theanne Schiros, assistant professor, Science and Math
“We’ll be able to graft animal DNA onto our own, letting people grow wings or modify their bodies in other ways. It’ll be the next level of beautiful.” Barbara Trippeer, assistant professor, Fashion Design
Gearing Up To help expose students to next-generation equipment, FIT launched an Emerging Technology Review Committee, chaired by Joanne Arbuckle, deputy to the president for Industry Partnerships and Collaborative Programs, and Greg Fittinghoff, acting vice president for Information Technology and CIO. Faculty suggest high-tech purchases that could benefit the classroom experience and the committee researches all submissions and chooses which to buy. Check out some of these cool technologies transforming the classroom experience. —Jonathan Vatner
Five new gadgets and software enriching FIT classrooms
On Virtual Reality Day in February, students painted in a 3D virtual space using Google Tilt Brush.
Virtual reality, evolved from video games, is expected to touch almost all art and design industries, from advertising to toys. “If you look at what venture capital firms are investing in, this is going to be the next internet,” Thomas McManus, associate professor of Advertising Design, says. Interior designers will be able to walk clients through rooms before the concrete is poured, and fashion designers will be able to drape on virtual mannequins. FIT owns two VR setups, including HTC Vive headsets, controllers, signal towers, and a powerful MSI laptop computer. Virtual reality may be fun and flashy, but experts predict that augmented reality—the laying of computer-generated imagery atop the real world—will make a greater impact on our future. (Consider the unprecedented success of the mobile AR game Pokémon Go.) Using Arilyn, an augmented-reality software, Toy Design Chair Judy Ellis is piloting an AR program to make storybooks come alive, and Jewelry Design Chair Wendy Yothers is using it to enhance lab safety training. Also, Communication Design Professor C.J. Yeh implanted a video in the Future of Fashion runway show invitation that played when recipients pointed their phones at an enclosed card. Advertising Design students Andrea Nelson, Dohyun Lee, Thomas Hawkins, and Iwona Usakiewicz tested the new camera.
Associate Professor Thomas McManus, Advertising Design, is using a new Ricoh Theta S 360-degree camera to explore this immersive filmmaking format with his students. “The 360-degree format is like a play,” he says. “I challenge the students to create narratives where you need to look around.” For example, one of his classes is creating a 360-degree video of a game of Spin the Bottle.
A Phantom 4 drone will allow photography classes to capture images that were previously only possible from aircraft and cranes. Associate Professor Brian Emery’s classes will practice in the gym and the John E. Reeves Great Hall, then shoot cityscapes from droneapproved parks—as flying drones is illegal in most of New York City.
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Rachel Nhan, Fashion Design ’14, 3D-printed the shoulder piece of her “Entity” dress at FIT.
FIT has owned 3D printers for years; in fact, PrintFX’s FabLab is equipped with models by Stratasys, FormLabs, and MakerBot. But new models are coming, with the capacity to print larger objects, such as a dress or handbag. And a neighboring classroom has been renovated into a research and innovation space where faculty can study a variety of emerging technologies.
The World Beyond This One Patrick Obando, Advertising Design ’18 You made the self-portraits on this page using the virtual reality program Google Tilt Brush. What’s it like to explore this world? It’s almost like you’re playing God. You’re in this massive, endless room, which is like a blank canvas, and you have all these tools. If you’re used to drawing on a flat surface, you have to train yourself to think in a 3D way. Things have depth and volume. I had an artist friend draw a rose and it was gorgeous, but when you walked around it, it was flat, almost like a neon sign. It’s more like exhibition design; you’re creating this world that people can walk around. The only downside is when you don’t know what to draw. Have you always been interested in technology? My mom says she remembers me playing with floppy disks when I was growing up in El Salvador. My stepdad taught me how to disconnect from technology. I’d visit him in Fresno, California, and help him plant radishes, tomatoes, and cucumbers. What got you interested in virtual reality? Two movies. One called Gamer—kids were controlling prison inmates in a Call of Duty–style game. I was like, Wow. There’s a lot you can do that’s not just in front of a screen or on a phone. Also Iron Man. He’s a tech genius and has a super smart A.I. that runs his house. He’s walking around, pulls a file out of thin air, crumples it, and tosses it over his shoulder. I can’t wait till we have that interaction of technology and reality. When will we get there? Maybe 10 years. A lot of that stuff is already accessible—in medical school, they can take an anatomical model and expand it and show all the details—but it’s expensive. Are you worried about the effect of technology on society? No. Everything can be bad if it’s abused. But it’s true: In VR, you can go anywhere. You can do anything. When you take off the VR headset, you get a little sad. Reality is disappointing. After a while, you don’t want to be here anymore.
Obando made his 3D self-portraits in a virtual-reality program. His first attempt (top middle) was flat, like a traditional 2D drawing. He soon learned to add dimension and depth so the figure, almost like a marble bust, can be seen from all sides. Some artist tools don’t change: his palette appears at right.
In the new FIT/Infor Design and Tech Lab, audacious ideas are put to the test
Last year, after a flurry of construction, a quirkily Smiljana Peros
decorated, glass-walled lab debuted on the ground floor of the Marvin Feldman Center. Turquoise mushroom-shaped stools ringed a long, raw-wood table, and two huge flat-screen TVs each displayed a tranquil mountain scene. This is the FIT/Infor Design and Tech Lab, created to engage faculty and students in using design and technology to solve industry problems. It’s the first campus space devoted to discovery and a harbinger of bigger things to come.
This spring, FIT retained the consulting firm InnovationLabs to develop a strategic plan specifically for innovation. The firm hosted a series of ten “design sprints” in the FIT/Infor Design and Tech Lab that brought many faculty together to solve problems such as creating the retail experience of the future and structuring a flexible curriculum to facilitate success in tomorrow’s job market. Part of the latter session asked teams of department chairs to build, from paper, tape, and aluminum foil, a structure that stayed aloft the longest—a task that required teamwork and nimble thinking, key tools for solving big problems. Above, Jean Marc Rejaud, Advertising and Marketing Communications, and Jeffrey Silberman, Textile Development and Marketing.
One problem that the lab will tackle is how, in the age of Amazon and same-day shipping, brick-andmortar retail must evolve to survive. Michael Ferraro, executive director of the lab, and Joanne Arbuckle, deputy to the president for Industry Partnerships and Collaborative Programs, are working to expand FIT’s
“We can take those risks that industry doesn’t really have the luxury to take.” —Joanne Arbuckle
student-run Style Shop into an experimental retail lab. They will explore how technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, body scanning, and RFID can heighten customer engagement.
They are also collaborating with Browzwear, a software company that develops virtual dress forms. “Lululemon says up until recently they’ve had to do eight samples to get the garment right,” Ferraro says. “They’ll now be able to position the pattern on a 3D virtual form so that the vice president of merchandising can instantly make a decision.” “It comes down to time and money,” Arbuckle says. “What really has to change is the process from the idea to the consumer’s hand. So some of the things we’re exploring in the lab will change that timeline dramatically. We can take those risks that industry doesn’t really have the luxury to take.” The lab came about as a collaboration between the college and Infor, a $10 billion company that develops cloud-based software for large organizations. Ultimately, it serves as a petri dish for FIT’s strategic goal of becoming an innovation center for the creative industries. “Where else but FIT do you have design paired with business and technology?” Arbuckle says. “We have all the pieces to
InnovationLabs solicited faculty input to create an “innovation map” that parsed the complex concept of innovation into necessary elements. 10 hue | fall 2017
really explore these problems and make a change.”
Is It Ethical? Top Soil
Faculty studied the effect of muslin compost on the growth of dye plants
As part of its commitment to academic excellence, FIT is cultivating an environment conducive to rigorous scholarship. Faculty and students are launching research studies in growing numbers. Eight years ago, in response to faculty demand, the college established an Institutional Review Board (IRB) to make sure each of these projects meets appropriate ethical standards. Now everyone in the FIT community who plans to conduct research involving human subjects is required to submit a proposal to the IRB. This committee of seven must include at least one scientist, one non-scientist, and one person from outside the college. They annually review between 10 and 20 faculty and student projects from across the disciplines. The goal of any IRB, says Daniel Benkendorf, chair of the committee and associate professor of psychology, is to protect research subjects. “They need to be giving informed consent,” he says. IRBs were first instituted in the late 1970s to prevent ethical abuses. In the notorious Tuskegee Syphilis Study, for example, scientists required that AfricanAmerican male participants with the disease go untreated, without their knowledge, even after penicillin was developed. “The IRB promotes Recent projects reviewed by FIT’s a culture at FIT where IRB include a study by a Japanese research is respected undergarment manufacturer in and supported.” which subjects on campus wore — Daniel Benkendorf shapewear for several weeks to see whether the garment lengthened the wearer’s stride. (It didn’t.) A student researched the ways in which biophilic interior design (which mimics the intricate beauty of nature) affects people. Shireen Musa, assistant professor, International Trade and Marketing, recently studied fairtrade fashion consumption. Associate Professor Brian Fallon, director of FIT’s Writing Studio, studied how German university language and writing centers have coped with the influx of refugees since Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the country’s borders in 2015. And Brenda Cowan, associate professor, Exhibition and Experience Design MA, looked at the effects museum objects have on the people who donate them and on museum visitors. (See story, following page.) Studies that don’t involve human subjects—such as Ajoy Sarkar’s study of natural dyes, detailed on this page—don’t require IRB approval. Benkendorf says that of all proposals submitted, “Maybe 5 to 10 percent need serious revision because important questions haven’t been answered.” More often, their role is in assisting scholars in improving methodology. “The function of the IRB is to promote a culture at FIT where research is respected and supported.” —Alex Joseph MA ’15
How FIT’s Institutional Review Board promotes responsible research
Sarkar and Silberman found that fertilizer made from muslin compost nearly doubled the yield of coreopsis plants.
Textile Development and Marketing Chair and Professor Jeffrey Silberman and Associate Professor Ajoy Sarkar received a $15,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to study how muslin compost affects the growth of dye plants, as well as the richness, absorption, and colorfastness of the resulting pigment. Over eight weeks this past spring, two sets of coreopsis and indigo—one planted in regular topsoil and one in topsoil mixed with 10 percent muslin compost— were grown in a TDM lab. The compost-enhanced coreopsis yielded nearly twice as many flowers as those in plain topsoil, and the indigo grew taller and fuller. An initial extraction from the coreopsis revealed that the compost made the dye markedly deeper and brighter. This research is an outgrowth of FIT’s commitment to sustainability. The fashion and textile industries produce enormous amounts of textile waste, much of it ending up in landfills each year. Breaking down muslin into compost, which can then be used to improve soil and potentially increase plant yields, could be part of the solution. —Alexandra Mann
The Healing Power of Objects Recent research uncovers the therapeutic potential of museums BY ALEX JOSEPH MA ’15
A survivor of the September 11 World Trade Center attacks still carries around a piece of steel from the catastrophe site. “I feel a part of me is missing when I don’t have it,” he explains. After experiencing a loss, a grieving teenager assembles leaves, twigs, and rocks to express thoughts and feelings she can’t quite put into words. Brenda Cowan, associate professor, Exhibition and Experience Design MA, has researched the mysterious ways we interact with objects, and developed a theory called Psychotherapeutic Object Dynamics. Her paper appeared in the spring 2017 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Exhibition, which is published by an affiliate of the American Alliance of Museums. Museum objects, she writes, long recognized as inspirations for reverie and epiphany, remain underappreciated as sources of healing. Grounded in an extensive study of literature on the subject, Cowan began her fieldwork at Trails Carolina, a facility in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains that helps troubled teens. Away from the distractions of modern technology, young people at the center engage in “wilderness therapy”: The teens, Cowan writes, “assign a psychological burden to a rock, which they carry until they are ready to move into the next stages of healing. They will throw away, crush, or even burn the rock…. Using an object to eliminate life-restricting feelings of fear or hate thus becomes an action of deep change and growth, a reminder that the Cowan tested her theory of Object Dynamics with people who donated artifacts to the National September 11 Museum. 12 hue | fall 2017
“Museums hold immense power to nurture and heal.” —Brenda Cowan
experience no longer holds power over them.” With assistance from the center’s clinical director of adolescent and family therapy and a professor of psychology who also works as a clinical therapist, Cowan tested whether such object dynamics existed outside the therapeutic context. Partnering with the National September 11 Memorial Museum, Cowan’s team interviewed 11 people who donated objects related to the attacks. Donors tended to refer to these artifacts as “witnesses,” and to feel that the museum was an ally for stewarding them. The conversations, combined with observations at the North Carolina center, led Cowan to propose the five human-object dynamics, detailed at right. She writes, “People examined the concepts of self and identity through associating memories and meanings with objects; experienced the concept of life continuum through giving, receiving, donating, and destroying objects; and communicated emotional states and thoughts through grouping, collecting, and making objects.” Museums can encourage these healthful interactions, Cowan concludes in the article, which her teammates co-authored. Personal object donation initiatives, for example, can help build connections with communities and engender the “associating” dynamic. Shows in which visitors arrange objects within an exhibit allow them to benefit from “composing.” That’s just the beginning. “Museums,” she writes, “hold immense power to nurture and heal.”
The five object dynamics, revealed through 9/11 artifacts
It is critical to this survivor that the objects he donated (triage gown, stained shirt, ID badge, dirt from WTC site) stay together. Composing is the dynamic in which the physical interconnectivity of objects is essential to their meaning-making. < The dynamic of Associating is demonstrated by this First Responder’s need to carry a piece of steel from the North Tower in his pocket at all times. Without it, he feels lost. <
Journalist Allison Gilbert has written four books about loss and memory since being wounded on 9/11. For her, the object dynamic of Making is an ongoing part of healing. <
Removing from your life an object that has immense meaning is the dynamic of Releasing/Unburdening. The donation of these blood-stained shoes supported this survivor’s progression through the stages of trauma healing.
The 9/11 museum received this crushed wristwatch from the wife of a victim, enabling her to experience the object dynamic of Giving/Receiving where an object’s meaning is held intact from the giver to the receiver. When an object is received with reverence, the giver is being affirmed within the life continuum and is being told “yes.”
The Future of Fabric A revolutionary new fiber could transform the clothing industry By Jonathan Vatner
In 2010, Stacy Flynn was in China conducting a routine factory audit for a company that makes clothes out of recycled plastic. A colleague stood a few feet away, but she could barely see him through the polluted air. In the conference room, a thick blanket of smog floated above her head. As she calculated the millions of yards of fabric she had sourced throughout her career, for DuPont, Target, and Eddie Bauer, Flynn thought, “I caused this problem.”
“ It’s shocking how much we have been able to do with this technology. We still haven’t seen the limits.” –STACY F LY N N
Current recycling technology barely lessens apparel’s destructive footprint. Plastic from bottles can be spun into polar fleece, and donated clothing can be cut up for industrial rags or shredded to make insulation. But according to the EPA, only 16 percent of the 16 million tons of textiles Americans dispose of each year is reused or recycled. These efforts will never be enough to avert a landfill crisis stateside, much less reverse the global devastation that the apparel industry has wrought. “Is there a way of taking all this garment waste and converting it to a new fiber?” wondered Flynn, Textile Development and Marketing ’98 and a member of the department’s industry advisory board. “That would circumvent most of the negative impact of how we make clothing without asking a business to change its process.” Conversations with industry colleagues did not inspire hope. “I was asking, ‘Is anyone talking about this?’ ‘Is this on anyone’s radar?’ ‘What about the futurists?’ The answer was no. No one was talking about it. No one.”
Stanev’s task was to isolate the raw cellulose from existing fabric, then reconstitute it into a sturdy fiber. Over the next few years of experimentation, funded by his and Flynn’s personal savings and retirement accounts, he and a team of researchers discovered multiple ways to liquefy the cellulose, filter out the rest, and extrude it into a fiber. The solvents used are safe, reusable, and, once they are spent, can be neutralized to simple salts.
But their early yarn samples were brittle, and clothing
manufacturers had little reason to believe Evrnu would be viable. In 2015, Flynn met with fabric developers at Target, hoping the company might sign on as an early adopter. She set out three beakers of Evrnu’s patented solvents and
Christopher Stanev is a Bulgarian-American textile chemist whom Flynn
proceeded to dissolve a T-shirt and restore it to a solid
had worked with at Target. He had also worked for Nike, where he invented a
cellulose material. Representatives were skeptical. She was
shoelace that stays tied on the basketball court. If anyone
told, “Stacy, you have three beakers and a dream. How could
could solve this problem, he was the one.
you possibly process the volume we require?”
In a two-hour conversation, she explained her vision:
to create a virgin fiber by dissolving and purifying
In December 2015, Patrice George was at the handloom
donated clothes, then extruding the results. He fired
in her apartment, attempting to weave Evrnu yarn into
back many reasons why it would be extremely difficult.
fabric—and failing. Flynn knew she could not lure investors
Cellulose in wood pulp had been dissolved before, but the
unless they could see and touch actual fabric, and she had
cellulose molecules in cotton are ten times longer. (Cotton
asked George, her former weaving teacher, to create six yards
is 98 percent cellulose.) And in previous attempts to
of denim. George, Fashion and Textile Studies ’14 and an
dissolve cotton, the dyes in used clothes interfered with
associate professor of Textile Development and Marketing,
the process. Last, existing methods of recycling wood
was intrigued. She set aside a few days of winter break for
pulp were toxic to the environment and to human health.
the project, but it wouldn’t be enough time. “The yarn was
so weak, I couldn’t even get it onto the bobbin,” she recalls.
“Acrylic can be dissolved,” Stanev said. “Polyester can
be recycled too. But I never heard of anyone recycling
“It was like a cross between cotton candy and peanut brittle.”
cellulose.” Flynn responded, “Christo, not once did you say
George hand-wound the yarn and reverted to an old-
fashioned wooden shuttle to minimize tension. Every few
Together they set out to realize this almost-impossible
dream. Flynn named the company Evrnu.
Flynn didn’t have the time or money to start over, so
days, Stanev mailed her a new skein, each one a little stronger than the last. Finally, a month after she began, she completed 4.5 yards of denim, woven with a cotton warp and an Evrnu weft. It didn’t quite have cotton’s natural softness, but it
To see whether the new fiber could be made into a viable fabric, Flynn asked Associate Professor Patrice George to weave a sample on her handloom. After many failed attempts, it finally worked. 14 hue | fall 2017
was denim nonetheless. And it was beautiful, full of tiny imperfections and subtle variations in color reminiscent of much older textiles. (Continued on page 16.)
Evrnu could be a solution to the massive amount of donated clothes that go unworn. Joe Carrotta ’17 photographed Flynn and Stanev atop a massive pile of donated clothes at Housing Works’ Buy the Bag warehouse in Brooklyn, where thrift shoppers can purchase them a bag at a time.
Three other hyper-sustainable materials coming soon to a wardrobe near you
“It looked like it had
been hand-loomed in a Japanese monastery,” Flynn
Synthetic spider silk, algae yarn, and leather made from
says. “That’s the first rule in
living cells sound like materials Cinderella’s fairy godmother
apparel: you have to make
would cook up for Project Runway, but they might be the key
it look good.” As luck would
to a zero-waste textile industry.
have it, she scored a meeting Long admired by textile creators for
global product innovation
strength and performance, spider
at Levi’s, a few days after
silk has never been producible on
the company’s 2030 fiber
a mass scale. By studying the DNA
strategy had been approved.
of spiders, Bolt Threads replicated
That strategy included a
these properties using a plant-
commitment to use recycled
based substance. The fiber, which
fibers, and when she showed
can be knitted or woven, is
him the fabric, his jaw
produced without the negative
dropped. He hadn’t guessed
impact of silk or petroleum-based
that recycling technology was already so sophisticated. “He said, ‘I’d planned on you coming, but I didn’t know you’d be here in a week,’” Flynn says.
Dillinger had the fabric sewn into two pairs of 511 jeans. And she and
One of the two pairs of Levi’s 511 jeans made with Evrnu. “First of many” was printed on the label. “Someday, they’re going to be in a museum,” Flynn says.
with Paul Dillinger, head of
synthetics. In early 2017, Bolt Threads released its first collection of knit ties, including one currently
Stanev left that meeting with an early-adopter agreement from a global brand.
on view in Force of Nature, an exhibition of plant- and
animal-inspired fashions at The Museum at FIT (MFIT).
Then she returned to her contacts at Target, offering them a sturdy yarn
that could reduce their reliance on resource-intensive fibers. “I told them, ‘Now I’m going to need to you to sign on, because I am going to fundamentally
Using alginate (algae) and chitosan
change the way you do business.’”
(fungi), a team of FIT students
created a filament with incredible
They signed an agreement to redevelop one core item, such as socks or
underwear, using Evrnu technology. Flynn believes that the Evrnu product
strength and flexibility when used
will ultimately outperform other fibers in durability, softness, and, of course,
for a knit fabric or 3D-printed
sustainability, at a competitive price.
mesh. Not only is the material
biodegradable, it can feed the
Flynn and Stanev are confident that consumers will prefer Evrnu simply
on the basis of quality. The cellulose strands in Evrnu are very long, giving it
microorganisms that grow it. Last
superior durability. The extrusion process can create microfiber strands finer
spring, the team won the national Biodesign Challenge for
and softer than cotton. In its liquid state, additives can be mixed in, giving it
developing this material. Now graduated, they have formed
moisture-wicking or antimicrobial properties, for example. Or the cellulose
the biomaterials research group AlgiKnit. Their materials
can be stripped down to a pure carbon chain, three times stronger than steel
are also featured in Force of Nature at MFIT.
and one-fifth as heavy. “You can make a car if you want,” Stanev says.
The environmental specifications are stunning, too. Producing Evrnu
Modern Meadow, a regular partic-
consumes 98 percent less water than cotton and emits 90 percent less carbon
ipant in FIT’s Summer Institute
dioxide than polyester. There is minimal off-gassing and wastewater
in Sustainability and Textiles, is
discharge during production. Evrnu takes dye efficiently, with a 30 percent
another biotech company replac-
reduction in impact compared with dyeing cotton or polyester. Though the
ing traditional textiles with
Evrnu process shares similarities with making rayon, the solvents used are
renewable resources. Currently
much safer for humans and the environment. And, best of all, clothes made
they are developing an animal-free
from Evrnu can be recycled back into fiber at least three times before the fiber
leather grown from collagen that is
breaks down into sugar.
produced by living cells. Traditional
Flynn and Stanev’s next challenge is to ramp up production. If all goes well,
leather production is incredibly
the first Evrnu garments may appear on shelves as early as 2018, and mass
polluting, from the resource demands and carbon output
quantities of the fiber could be available in 2019.
of livestock to the chemicals used in the tanning process.
The technology could also be used to replicate polyester, rayon, and other
Animal leather is also constrained by the size of the hide,
materials, reducing our reliance on natural resources such as petroleum and
resulting in large amounts of waste on the cutting-room
water. Flynn gets requests every week to collaborate on something new.
floor. Modern Meadow’s biofabricated leather can be grown
“It’s shocking how much we have been able to do with this technology,” Flynn
to the desired size, shape, and design specifications.
says. “We still haven’t seen the limits.”
—Julianna Rose Dow, Fashion and Textile Studies
16 hue | fall 2017
Anatomy of a Carry-On This luxury suitcase, created by Denielle Martin Wolfe, Accessories Design ’91, blends technology and smart design “In high luxury,” says Denielle Wolfe ’91, “you pay more and you get less.” Not so with her new luggage brand, Arlo Skye. The first product, a sleek, durable, high-tech carry-on, earns its $550 price tag with loads of eye-opening features. After 15 years at Tumi, most recently as vice president of product
"The big cookie-cutter brands are all the same– there’s nothing special about them." – D E N I E L L E M A RT I N WO L F E
development and design, Wolfe wanted to claim her own slice of the $32 billion luggage industry. She, along with former Louis Vuitton exec Mayur Bhatnagar and industrial designer Mauricio Issa Llano, launched Arlo Skye in 2016. With the help of angel investors and pre-orders taken on their website (Wolfe didn’t think a Kickstarter campaign was appropriate for the luxury market), they produced a hard-shell carry-on in three colors: sardine silver, champagne, and penguin black. A black case with red accents—a collaboration with Audi—became available this year. Next up: checked and soft-sided bags. Wolfe says the bag appeals to design-savvy consumers who want unique products. “The big cookie-cutter brands are all the same—there’s nothing special about them. People, especially millennials, are looking to
express their personal style through what they buy.” Below, check out some of Arlo Skye’s luggage innovations.
1 Removable lithium-ion power bank charges devices 75 percent faster than typical backup batteries— no desperate searches for an electrical outlet
2 Easy-open latches replace ugly, annoying zippers 3 TSA-approved three-number combination locks
4 Full-grain vegetable-tanned Italian leather on the handles
5 Anodized aluminum-magnesium alloy shell is scratch-resistant and 2.3 times stronger than typical polycarbonate plastic shells. Tested to survive the most aggressive airline baggage handlers
6 Antimicrobial high-density lining resists odors 7 Recessed bumpers protect the edges 8 Soft rubber Hinomoto wheels are 15 percent quieter than polyurethane wheels
Noah Workman/Patrick Rousseau
Buzz Feed If, as some experts say, bugs are the future of food, FIT is ready BY LINDA ANGRILLI
It’s true that FIT is committed to sustainability as one of its core principles. It’s also true that some futurists are predicting that the world’s growing population may need to turn to insects as a cheap, protein-rich, and environmentally friendly source of food. But let’s face it: That’s not the only reason Hue staged a bug-tasting event on campus. We also thought it would be fun. Gross, maybe, but fun.
Insects were on the menu at FIT. Yum! Yuk!
And so, on May 16 during Common Hour, we set up signs
on the breezeway announcing “Eat a Bug, Save the Planet.” We weren’t sure FIT was ready for insect foods, even if freshly prepared and free. But students (always hungry, often broke, and definitely game) were lining up by the time Michael Cokkinos, professor of Advertising and Marketing Communications and advisor to FIT’s Culinary Arts Club, fired up the hot plate.
Cokkinos, in his white chef’s coat, cracked corny jokes and
cooked up dish after dish—cricket tacos, water-scorpion omelet, desert scorpion and silkworm-larva stir-fry. He explained, seriously, that raising large numbers of animals for food takes a terrible toll on the environment. Insects, already eaten by 80 percent of the world’s people, could be the answer.
So how did they taste? Opinions varied. Grassy, nutty, like
sunflower seeds, dried mushrooms, bacon. “Like liver, and I’m not a fan of liver.”
“Ugh, I can’t even look at it,” said Michael Nieto, Production
Management, slightly green. But his friend said, “You gotta do it, dude,” so he took a bite of grasshopper nacho, with a little jalapeno. “The texture’s freakin’ me out a little bit, but when you get past that….”
Some students were purely practical. “I have no food left in
my dorm, so I’d eat more,” Maria Parfenov, Textile/Surface Design, said.
“No big deal,” said Tardis Johnson, associate dean for
academic support, scooping up a handful of crunchy crickets. “I eat bugs all the time.”
“I would eat a full meal of this,” said Tiara Simatupang, AMC,
sampling the cricket fried rice.
“I wouldn’t go that far,” Sahara Pagan, AMC, said.
Carlos Macias, a print-shop manager, munched casually on
a big, black scorpion. (An arachnid, not an insect, but impressively creepy-crawly.) Born in Mexico, Macias said bugs are a popular food back home. “[Eating insects] used to be more for the farmers. Now in big cities they have restaurants that just serve bugs,” he said, adding, “I’ll try anything that moves.” “Wow, that’s a snack!” one student said, popping a silkworm larva. His friend made a face. “I can’t eat that,” he said. “I’m vegan.”
Visit hue.fitnyc.edu to watch a video of our bug-tasting event at FIT.
18 hue | fall 2017
A crowd formed quickly. “I have exoskeleton in my teeth,” someone complained.
Professor Michael Cokkinos cooks up buggy treats for a sometimes skeptical crowd.
Al Romano, chair of Advertising and Marketing Communications, crunches an Asian forest scorpion.
Cricket fried rice.
Chocolate-covered scorpions and chocolate wafers made with ants were popular. “Like a Kit Kat,” one student said.
A sizzling pan of silkworm larvae and Asian forest scorpions...delicious!
Beneath the Surface Cutting-edge textiles by the renowned Suzanne Tick ’82 Suzanne Tick’s textile designs form a kind of skin on the insides of buildings, covering walls, floors, and furniture and demarcating spaces. “Our job with these materials,” she says, “is to reflect the architectural membrane of the building and bring it inside.” Over her decades-long career, Tick, Textile Design ’82, has pushed the limits of what industrial looms and printers can do, creating elegant textures and patterns within the muted vocabulary of commercial (also known as “contract”) textiles. Her artwork has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art and Art Basel, and two of her upholstery fabrics and a fiber-optic pendant lamp are in the permanent collection of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. In 2013, she was honored with the International Interior Design Association Titan Award. Here’s a sampling of exciting materials that emerged from Suzanne Tick, Inc. this year. —Jonathan Vatner
With Navigate, a felted wool upholstery collection for Luum textiles, for which Tick is creative director, a grid of embroidered horizontal and vertical lines randomly fades in and out. According to Tick, this vanishing act has never been accomplished before with traditional weaving machinery. “I call it stitch witchery,” she says. “It’s taking conventional machinery and requesting it to do more than it’s done in the past.”
The strongly nubby texture of Knurl, an upholstery fabric, makes it look like wool. But– surprise!–it’s inexpensive, durable polyester, so colorful and appealing that it can endow commercial spaces with a residential warmth.
Tick often ponders the tension between the architectural trend toward open work spaces and the human need for privacy. “When people are in conference rooms, they want transparency, but they also want privacy.” Transcend, her third collection of architectural glass for Skyline Design, provides both. A complex layering of etched and printed patterns obscures and reveals as their density shifts.
Tick works with carpet and textile layouts in her East Village studio. 20 hue | fall 2017
As a design consultant for Tandus Centiva, a contract floor-covering company, Tick works on designs for Powerbond, a line of carpet tiles that are fused together to form a protective barrier atop untreated floors in hospitals and schools. Usually the six-foot squares of Powerbond carpet are chopped up into tiles, but Tick’s Progression collection leaves them whole, giving her more space to enact dramatic color shifts. “You can have half a room in one color that gradates into another color,” she says.
S P E C I A L S E C T I O N : W E A R A B L E T E C H N O LO GY
A Wearable Future
Some FIT alumni are delving into the wearables field as it intersects with health care.
Get ready for a golden age of smart garments and accessories
Imagine a contact lens with autofocus, eliminating the need for progressive glasses. Or a bra that can detect breast cancer. Or a hospital gown that draws electricity from the body to monitor vital signs. These technologies are coming sooner than you think. According to the International Data Corporation, a research firm based in Framingham, MA, sales of wearable devices will double by 2021. But
Troy Nachtigall, Fashion Design ’04, is a conceptual designer laying the groundwork for smart shoes customized for each individual’s feet. Page 22
much of the growth will come from the health-care industry, says Michael Reidbord, adjunct instructor in Fashion Business Management. Smart garments will be used to monitor patients at home, reducing hospital stays. Electrodes will also be sewn into gear for firefighters and other first responders, warning of dangerously high stress levels that could lead to heart attacks—which currently cause 45 percent of firefighter fatalities, according to the American Heart Association. “We will have empowered garments that link to other aspects in our lives: home, workplace, and car,” Reidbord predicts. Reidbord was previously chief operating officer of Kloog, a wearabletech company that was purchased by Facebook in early 2017. Now he is principal of the Fashion Tech Consortium, a new company that is helping
Megan Manco, Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management ’16, helped develop a skin patch for L’Oréal that communicates sun exposure data to a smartphone. Page 24
large retail brands innovate in design, manufacturing, and sales. Other FIT faculty members are developing wearables in the health-care sector. Min Zhu, assistant professor of Textile Development and Marketing, is collaborating with an engineer at SUNY Binghamton to create a textile-based bio-battery that draws an electrical current from bacteria. This technology will allow for medical devices in remote areas lacking electricity. And Barbara Trippeer, assistant professor of Fashion Design, is helping to develop garments that aid children with chronic illness, such as a “hugging” vest that calms children with autism. She communicates with them about their needs using a pictorial language she invented. In the following pages, read about how three technologies developed by
Keith Kirkland, Accessories Design ’10, co-created a wristband that helps the blind navigate. Page 25
alumni are becoming reality.
W E A R A B L E T E C H N O LO GY
The Footwear of Tomorrow Troy Nachtigall, Fashion Design ’04, is a shoe visionary By Alex Joseph MA ’15
Someday soon, if Troy Nachtigall has his way, designers will create customized shoes for every person’s feet, reflecting our particular distribution of weight and the way we move. Someday, our shoes will be made so sustainably that when they wear out, we can eat them (after washing, of course). And someday we’ll wear edible grass shirts that grow by feeding on our sweat and cells, so that we eat the garment while the garment “eats” us. Nachtigall dreamed up—and in some cases, actually made—all of these, and much more. He is that rare person—a visionary—and in the interest of creating a greener, smarter, more streamlined future, he’s conceived a spectrum of ideas, from ordinary to outlandish. In 2015, he was accepted into the ArcInTex European Training Network (ETN), a consortium of universities in the European Union that organizes research into sustainable design concepts at the intersection of architecture, fashion design, and interactive design. Supported by a Marie Curie Research Fellowship (worth approximately $268,000), he’s working on a PhD in Ultra Personalized Product Systems at the Technical University of Eindhoven in the Netherlands. Nachtigall began developing ideas about customization over a decade ago. “I loved computer patternmaking at FIT and saw the future of individual things for everyone,” he says. He continued his studies at Polimoda in Florence, Italy, then worked on “clothing that adapted to the body and movement of the user” for Italian designer Emilio Cavallini. While working on a fashion line by Dan Ward, Nachtigall studied footwear. He gained experience creating wearable technology for shoes while working with students in the master’s degree program at the SLEM (Shoes Leather Education Museum), an innovation center for shoes in the Netherlands. His application for the ETN grew out of these experiences. Nachtigall is married to Annaluisa Franco, Fashion Design ’04, and it’s a match made in footwear heaven: Franco is the head of training and professional development at SLEM. The couple have two sons. Hue asked Nachtigall about five of his favorite projects.
Above left: Nachtigall and the Ultimaker 2 Extended, his 3D-printer of choice. Left: The future is customization: A visitor to Dutch design week has his feet scanned to make personalized shoes, for Nachtigall’s Solemaker project.
22 hue | fall 2017
Heading a team of 12, Nachtigall created
The Dutch minister of education, innovation and science, Jet Bussemaker,
Solemaker, a system for making customized
left, sought out Nachtigall and his ETN colleagues to create a futuristic
shoes using foot scans. “Each shoe is created
outfit for a political event in 2015. Nachtigall focused on the shoes,
with code that dynamically programs the sole
and others on the dress. Collaborating with an industrial designer, he
material to the shape and weight distribution
scanned the minister’s feet with the goal of making footwear entirely
of the foot,” he says. The team launched the
adapted to her frame, style of movement, and active schedule. The
program at the 2016 Dutch and Dubai design
shoes were formed out of a polyurethane resin called Filoflex, using
weeks, where they scanned visitors’ feet and
off-the-shelf software (for Solemaker, they created their own); printing
3D-printed 350 unique pairs. The designers
them took over 100 hours. Inspired by force fields, the soft, wavy lines
are developing a process by which owners
move, allowing greater flexibility. They also matched her garment,
can return worn-out shoes to be analyzed
with lines that traced the body’s contours in a way similar to a CAD
for how they were worn, so the next pair can
patternmaking program. “We wanted to reflect the generative
be improved. “The shoes gather your data
algorithmic parametric nature of the dress,” Nachtigall says. In theory,
and become an expression of you at that
the shoes were supposed to improve the minister’s gait. Bussemaker
moment,” he says. “What do you do? How do
called the outfit “surprisingly wearable.” The Telstra Perth Fashion
you move? How careful are you? How active
Festival in Australia and the Cube Museum in California have both exhibited the shoes.
are you? Each shoe tells the next shoe who you are.” Solemaker is “a step towards a future where data is used to make things for us,” he says.
A closeup of Project J reveals individual polyurethane filaments that make up the shoe.
The shortcomings of existing 3D-printed shoes inspired Nachtigall to create these, a collaboration with SLEM, the Autodesk Footwear Company in Britain, and Recreus, a manufacturer of 3D products in Spain. “I'd seen a lot of 3D shoes that were beautiful but complete blister makers—hard plastic messes,” he says. “I wanted to change that.” Working in Filoflex, a soft material, he and the Recreus engineers manipulated the density of the material to create “flexible geometries that bend and stretch like tree branches. We designed for walking, not standing.” Dinosaur fossils inspired the spikes, and Nachtigall prefers the all-white version, though they added rainbow color to the left shoe “to show what we could do.” The shoes are 100 percent recyclable.
ETN Work Package 4
Nachtigall co-created ONEDAY, a design-your-own sneaker kit, as part
Work Package 4 is not a product. It is, instead,
of a class for Rhode Island School of Design students studying abroad
a model for working on fashion, specifically
at SLEM. Anyone who purchased ONEDAY received a pattern for four
wearables. For one ArcInTex ETN assignment,
different styles of sneakers ranging from “super low” to “super high
he collaborated with a chemist, a material
tops” with suggestions on how to modify them and assembly instruc-
engineer, another designer, and an artist. The
tions. Materials were sourced from around the world, Nachtigall says.
group created a fictional film about “Ahti,”
“We found an Italian leather supplier, a German tool supplier, and a
a genderless person in the future who wears
Portuguese sole manufacturer. We were really excited to be using the
a suit that is grown from their own skin. Nacht-
same sole that Hugo Boss and Lanvin use.” Funded by a Kickstarter
igall found the interdisciplinary nature of the
campaign, they eventually sold more than 300 pairs of shoes to
work inspirational. “When we put experts
people on six continents. Feedback from users led to some hard truths,
together, we can make things far greater
however: “Designers are still needed,” he says. “Many people love to
than the sum of their parts,” he says. “We can
see how things are made, but very few actually want to make them.”
make rooms out of woven plants, and large structures from a single spool of yarn. We have technology that can calculate things we can’t imagine seeing.” Ahti’s suit may not be science fiction for long. Nachtigall says he wants to make leather jackets that spare the lives of animals because they’re made out of leather grown or cloned from human skin cells. “I can do this,” he says. “I am looking for $800,000 to make it happen.” Super investors, here’s your chance to do something big.
W E A R A B L E T E C H N O LO GY
Thanks to Megan Manco ‘16, your phone will know when you've had too much sun
Beach towel? Check. Sunscreen? Check. High-tech sunburn-monitoring patch? It’s here. As a clinical research scientist at L’Oréal, Megan Manco, Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management MPS ’16, co-created My UV Patch, a sticker applied to the skin that measures the total UVA and UVB rays coming in, then sends a message to a linked smartphone recommending that the user put on sunscreen or go
The UV skin patch is thinner than a hair and can be worn for several days.
inside. The heart-shaped patch contains a layer of photosensitive dyes over a flexible polyimide circuit
“ For the cosmetics industry, this is huge, because it molds to your skin.” – M E GA N M A N CO
board; to generate recommendations and advice, it combines sun exposure data with other variables such as the user’s skin type and local weather. “For the cosmetics industry, this is huge, because it molds to your skin—people don’t always want to wear a bracelet,” Manco says. La Roche-Posay, a L’Oréal brand, launched My UV
The product won a L’Oréal Science Pops Beauty Research
Patch internationally in 2016 and in the U.S. this year.
and Innovation Award from a pool of 150 applications within the company, and Manco was promoted to global director of scientific communications for SkinCeuticals, a role in which she bridges the gap between scientists and consumers. While developing the patch, Manco was still a student, and a team leader for the 2016 CFMM capstone presentation, The Future of Innovation. One of her class’s recommendations was that companies form fluid teams with diverse expertise. Manco believes that the heterogeneous makeup of the My UV Skin Patch team was key to the project’s success. Different members had backgrounds in engineering, business, biology, and design. She herself had a science background and was learning marketing at FIT. Additionally, the team collaborated with John Rogers, a materials scientist at the University of Illinois developing stretchable electronics. “It’s one thing to come up with the technology, but to
make it usable and user-friendly, you need those different
Manco in a lab at L’Oréal headquarters where product displays are mocked up. 24 hue | fall 2017
perspectives,” she says. “You can’t work in the silo, one by one.” —Jonathan Vatner
W E A R A B L E T E C H N O LO GY
Sense of Direction Keith Kirkland, Accessories Design ’10, created a vibrating wristband that guides the blind By Jonathan Vatner
On November 5, a blind man named Simon Wheatcroft will run the New York City Marathon without a guide. He will be aided in this feat by the Wayband, a wearable navigation device that uses haptic feedback—touch—to communicate directions to the blind and visually impaired. Whenever Wheatcroft needs to turn, a complex but intuitive array of vibrations will tell him when to do it and by how much. If he is not aligned precisely with the road, subtle vibrations will correct him. The American Foundation for the Blind estimates that 21 million Americans are blind or visually impaired. And according to the World Health Organization, 82 percent of blind people are 50 and above. “As we get older,” says Keith Kirkland ’10, the CEO of WearWorks, the fledgling wearables company that created the Wayband, “this device could be for any one of us.” Kirkland makes an ideal CEO. With his engaging manner and easy smile, he exudes positivity and possibility. He is ravenous for knowledge and freely shares what he knows. He dreams big and is determined enough to realize those dreams. Above: The Wayband translates GPS navigation from a smartphone into an intuitive language of vibrations.
hoping to become a shoe designer. After graduation, he chose handbags instead, to sidestep the fickle art of sizing. He
He also has acquired a dazzling range of skills. When he came to FIT in early 2008, he was a mechanical engineer
“ There’s a big gap between what the skin is capable of and what we use it for.” – KEITH KI RKLAN D
worked as a technical designer at LeSportsac, then as a handbag engineer at Coach, teaching luxury construction techniques to factory employees. He loved the work but felt guilty
to figure out how to use design to further humanity.” In a master’s program in global innovation design at Pratt, he met Yangyang Wang and Kevin Yoo, and after graduating in 2015, they launched the wearable technology company WearWorks. For their first project, they envisioned a wristband that communicated GPS-based turn-by-turn directions using haptic feedback. It would be ideal for cyclists, because it’s safer than looking at a phone while biking; tourists, who might be uncomfortable staring at their phone in unfamiliar surroundings; and the military, for silent communication in enemy territory. Existing navigational devices use a combination of visual and auditory stimuli (a map and voice directions) to guide users. But when driving, walking, or biking, the eyes are busy making sure you don’t get hit by a car or crash into a lamppost, and the ears are alert to invisible dangers—or are occupied with music or a podcast. On the other hand, the sense of touch, which can detect subtle shifts in pressure, temperature, and location, is left untapped. “There’s a big gap between what the skin is capable of and what we use it for,” Kirkland says. “Why not offload some of those communications from the visual and auditory channels?” The task was easier said than done. There existed no standardized language to communicate movements by touch. WearWorks had to create it. If the wearer needed to turn left, should the buzz occur on the right, like a push, or on the left, like a pull? What would be the difference between an alert for an upcoming turn and a command to turn immediately? Or the difference between a slight right and a hard right? In late 2015, WearWorks won a spot in Next Top Makers (now called Futureworks NYC), a tech incubator and education program developed by the New York City Economic
Development Corporation and sponsored by Nike and Microsoft, giving them six months of studio space and mentorship to develop an early prototype. But a chance meeting at the 2016 South by Southwest conference and festivals in Austin, TX, shifted their focus. A computer programmer at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired recognized that haptic technology could improve quality of life for the blind and invited the team to visit the school. That led to a four-hour meeting with the assistant commissioner for blind services at the Texas Department for Assistive and Rehabilitative Services. By June, they had officially changed gears. “The device we had envisioned might make a bike ride better for a cyclist,” Kirkland says. “But that same device for the blind or visually impaired—it could be a revolution for them.” Emilie Gossiaux, a blind artist they knew from a concurrent internship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s MediaLab, consulted with them about the device’s functionality. She liked the idea of a navigational wristband (as opposed to a handheld device), because guide dogs and canes both keep one hand occupied at all times. But the early rubber prototype was uncomfortable. “There are lots of navigational tools for the iPhone,” she says, “but I always end up on the opposite side of the street, maybe a block away. And I don’t feel comfortable pulling out my phone and listening to it when there’s all these people around.” After Next Top Makers, the WearWorks team needed more time and money. “When we first started, we thought we’d be manufacturing in six months,” Kirkland says. “That was totally stupid.” They applied to Urban-X, an accelerator program founded by Mini, the car brand owned by BMW, in partnership with SOSV, a venture capital fund focusing on early-stage startups. Accelerators are crucial to the success of startups on the frontier of innovation, as traditional venture capital firms will not invest in a technology before it’s been invented. Why would a carmaker invest in an assistive device for the blind? Because the Wayband’s technology can easily translate to haptic GPS directions in a car. Within a few years,
that humorless disembodied voice in your maps app may become a series of vibrations in your steering wheel, guiding you intuitively and letting you chat or listen to music without the risk of missing a turn. “We were intrigued with WearWorks for several reasons,” says Nick Plante, program director and venture partner of Urban-X. “They’re building something which can tangibly help a lot of people. Also, the founders are designers at the top of their game in haptics, which is a market that’s underdeveloped.”
26 hue | fall 2017
“I got tired of supporting a culture of waste,” he says. “I wanted
about the environmental implications of the fashion cycle.
“ We want to invoke ‘happy,’ rather than something that’s more assistive.” –YA N GYA N G WA N G
Above: Yoo, Kirkland, and Wang inside the Urban-X Studio in Greenpoint, where they refined their prototype and made great strides toward the big launch.
When Hue visited the WearWorks team this past spring at the
Right: Simon Wheatcroft, a blind athlete, will run the 2017 New York City Marathon using the Wayband.
and concrete dust. Nordic foodies Claus Meyer and Fredrik
language, developed by the WearWorks team, that users can
Berselius manage the on-site restaurant, serving gorgeous
grasp intuitively in a matter of seconds. When you’re going in
pastries and a surprising diversity of pickled things.
the wrong direction, a single haptic expression communicates
Urban-X Studio in Greenpoint, they were racing to complete a marketable prototype. In the open-plan office filled with long work tables bathed in natural light, one could hear the R2-D2 whirring of 3D printers and smell ambient odors of coffee
Besides designing a functional device with intuitive and
which way and how much to turn. Optional advanced vibra-
unobtrusive haptic language and a user-friendly app, Kirkland,
tion patterns resembling Morse code can guide experienced
Wang, and Yoo spent their time at Urban-X making it look good.
users even more precisely. Hundreds of test users have
“People have a misperception that blind people don’t care
confirmed that it works, and most prefer it to auditory GPS,
about how things look,” Kirkland says. “That couldn’t be
which isn’t as exact and often must compete with street noise.
further from the truth.” In reality, most blind people, just like
Future models may include obstacle detection, which will
anyone else, want to make a good visual impression on others
let users walk without a cane or service animal (Wheatcroft, the
and not attract undue attention.
blind marathoner, will run with a custom obstacle-detection
“We want to invoke ‘happy,’” Wang says. “Rather than
unit strapped to his chest), and step-counting, which will allow
something that’s more assistive, we’d like to produce a product
for navigation in the subway system and other places with
that’s universally usable and that incidentally helps blind
spotty internet service.
users.” At the time, they planned on calling the device Hapi
After two years of development, the end is in sight: the
(Haptic Application Program Interface).
Wayband will go into mass production after Wheatcroft debuts
The prototype, revealed at the Urban-X demo day on May 4,
the device in November. The WearWorks team hopes to sell it
is sophisticated, angular, and unobtrusive: passersby will
for $249 beginning in April 2018.
undoubtedly mistake it for a Fitbit. It employs a haptic
“It’s a relief to finally see the finish line,” Kirkland says. For Wheatcroft, Gossiaux, and thousands of others who are
blind and visually impaired, that finish line could represent a new beginning.
1967 Betty Lou Cloke Cox, Apparel Design, has exhibited her watercolors of flowers, pets, and scenes from her travels at libraries and galleries throughout New Jersey’s Ocean and Monmouth counties. Her painting of a Spanish botanical garden won “best in watercolor” at the Manasquan River Group of Artists show at the Brielle (NJ) Library Art Show in June. Early in her career, she designed children’s wear and launched a handsmocking business, which thrived until sewing machines with a smocking feature were produced.
Karyn Scherer Villante, Product Management: Textiles, Fashion Design ’81, founded Made Here New York, a line of cotton sweaters and blankets knitted in New York City with yarn that is grown and spun domestically, including surplus yarn that might otherwise be discarded. She avoids recycled cotton, because it is usually blended with polyester, rendering it non-recyclable. Her blankets are sold on her website, in upstate and Long Island boutiques, at pop-up shops and craft fairs, and through the West Elm Artisan Market. Her daughter, Helena Villante, graduated in 2017 with a degree in Packaging Design.
NEW YORK’S BRAVEST Dan Wagner, Photography ’80 On a sweltering day last June, Dan Wagner, Photography ’80, captured New York firefighters in action at the FDNY’s training facility on Randall’s Island, as part of a $10 million recruitment campaign focused on improving diversity. This February, the images of female and minority firefighters were unveiled in subway stations, on trains, and outside all 217 New York City firehouses. The campaign was also featured in newspapers and on TV. Wagner is an accomplished street photographer who has also worked on recruitment campaigns for Comcast and Chubb Financial Services. For the FDNY campaign, he photographed firefighters climbing ladders, wielding axes, and putting out fires. He used professional-build Nikon cameras, keeping the focus shallow to soften the backgrounds. Simple lighting techniques such as reflectors created dramatic contrast. “I try to photograph people enjoying their careers,” Wagner says. “If you can communicate the virtues of a given job, people start to consider working for that company.”
The award-winning Sea Below, watercolor, 11 by 14 inches.
1981 Constantin Maragoudakis, Textile Design, manages a team of six designers at Sunham Home Fashions, a Chineseowned company headquartered in the Garment District that produces bedding and bath linens for a range of lines including Ted Baker, Lacoste, and Kelly Ripa Home. The company also develops products for store brands at Bloomingdale’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, and JCPenney, among others. Having worked in apparel for much of his career, including 15 years designing swimwear, he prefers the home industry, as the fashion cycle is more relaxed and the price points are higher. The 1872 Sabine comforter set, produced by Sunham Home Fashions for Bloomingdale’s.
1983 Wendy Anderson, Marketing: Fashion and Related Industries, joined FIT’s Office of Event Management and Facilities Rental as an administrative assistant in March 2017. She also studied millinery at FIT and worked in that industry from 1989 to 2005, for Patricia Underwood, Eric Javits, and a licensee for Calvin Klein. 28 hue | fall 2017
Made Here New York’s best-selling 100-percent cotton Chunky Braided Cable Throw, in the West Elm local assortment in New York stores.
1985 David Christopher Salvatore, Fashion Buying and Merchandising, Display and Exhibit Design ’84, a member of MFIT’s Couture Council, was named contributing editor—and, unofficially, “finder of fabulous”—of Magnifissance. Each issue of the magazine, aimed at Upper East Siders, delves into the cultural heritage of a different country. “We don’t just flash another set of diamonds in your face,” he says. “The publisher is hell-bent on showing people that you need to appreciate craftsmanship and quality, because it may cease to exist as we know it.” Before his days as a journalistic globetrotter, Salvatore managed his mother’s jewelry, accessories, and apparel company, Blair Delmonico. He is also a real-estate broker (and parttime home stager) at Compass, widely recognized for his trademark red blazer. (He owns about 25 of them.)
Top: An image from the FDNY campaign. Above: Wagner, right, shoots firefighters putting out a car fire.
1995 The spring 2017 issue of Magnifissance delved into traditional Indian design.
Regina Molaro Fish, Advertising Design, is a journalist and editor who has written articles and marketing copy for the St. Regis New York, Mandarin Oriental, Tiffany & Co., U.S. Open, and more. On assignment, the self-professed “information hound” has attended orchid-growing workshops, interviewed authors and hoteliers, toured a cosmetics lab, and met the staff of Sesame Street.
Angela Dyson, Advertising and Communications, is creative production manager in the Office of Publications and Databases at the Washington, D.C.–based American Psychological Association. She manages the design and print production of promotional materials for three divisions: APA Books, APA journals and databases, and the trade-show booth at three annual conventions.
Search and State
Daniel Golden, Fashion Buying and Merchandising, co-founded Search and State, a cycling apparel brand made in New York City, with Devin O’Brien, a colleague from his days as a vice president of design at Li & Fung. Golden, a former professional motorcycle racer and lifelong bicyclist, saw a need for understated, well-fitting bike gear in high-tech Swiss fabrics. To market their products, the founders lead an annual Search Brigade, a cross-country cycling journey that participants join, Forrest Gump–style, as they please.
Search and State’s original S1-J riding jacket, the first piece Golden designed, is still his favorite. “It’s the piece that made us,” he says. “It’s the reason we started the company.”
1997 Amy Adamczyk, Fashion Design, is a professor of sociology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and CUNY Graduate Center, with a research focus on religion, deviance, and social control. In February, her first book, CrossNational Public Opinion About Homosexuality, was published by University of California Press. The book draws on years of research, including quantitative studies of existing surveys and interviews in the field, to look at cultural values and norms across the world as they pertain to same-sex desire.
Dyson won Communicator Awards of Distinction for the spring 2016 Development & Cognition brochure and the fall 2016 Religion & Spirituality brochure. The latter also won a 2017 Graphic Design USA In-House Design award.
2003 Payal Parekh Bugbee, International Trade and Marketing for the Fashion Industries, Photography ’99, produces limited-edition silk scarves, shawls, and other textiles that are handprinted in her family factory on the outskirts of Mumbai. The factory employs and trains villagers in this traditional printing technique; creating each scarf takes almost a week. She herself photographs and markets the final products, which are sold under the Parekh Bugbee brand. “Scarves is a very untapped market in women’s accessories,” she says. “I want American women to enjoy changing an outfit just by changing the scarf.”
Greg Siner, Fashion Buying and Merchandising ’84 The first time one of his dogs was entered in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Greg Siner was a student at FIT. “I left in the middle of a lecture, ran up to Madison Square Garden and showed, and then came back to 27th Street for the rest of [Professor] Pat Siner grooms Reggie the West Highland white terrier. Breen’s class.” His vizsla didn’t take home a ribbon, but in the years since, Siner has won Best of Breed 22 times with a single bloodline of Irish water spaniels. He was also at FIT when he purchased the first of these winning dogs. “Growing up in Vermont, my family had springer spaniels we showed, but our neighbors had Irish water spaniels, and I was always attracted to their exotic look and their temperament.” Breeding is serious business. Recently, at a dog show just for Irish water spaniels, Siner met a male dog he thought would pair well with one of his females. But successful mating isn’t a matter of giving the two dogs a little privacy: the U.K.-based sire’s semen was frozen and flown in for stateside fertilization. In potential show dogs, Siner looks for “sound” temperament, that is, the ability to adapt to crowds and noise without barking or cowering. This doesn’t mean they’re couch potatoes. Bred to retrieve waterfowl, they are high-energy and you “have to give them a job to do.” Siner uses the word “job” loosely: his prize-winning pooches accompany him to work daily; at his weekend home in Rhode Island, they scamper about the property and splash in a nearby lake. Siner owned a high-end pet accessories company in the ’80s, but the day-to-day responsibilities of running a business conflicted with the travel requirements of breeding and showing dogs, so in 1987, he sold the business and opened up Studio Irish water spaniels are known for their dark brown Groomers in Montclair, NJ. curls and short and smooth hair on the face, snout, “When you show dogs,” he says, and tail. Siner won Best of Breed at Westminster this “it is easier if you also can groom.” year for the 22nd time. He doesn’t use any fancy styling tricks to coif his canines, but he does know the natural shape and fur type of each breed. “It’s really all in the bloodline. A good coat and good curls come from good breeding, a little shaping in the cut, and a good shampoo. No special products. It’s a wash-and-wear look. It’s like cutting [human] hair. You either have a feel for it or you don’t.” Although he is known for his championship spaniels and expertise in terrier grooming—Siner has also bred and shown Norfolk and Russell terriers—the client list at Studio Groomers runs the gamut from show dogs to mutts. Siner and his business partner Sharon Nash cut the hair and nails of 18 to 25 dogs a day, with three employees doing the shampooing and bathing. Most people bring their dogs in every four or six weeks, but for his award-winners Siner mandates a weekly trim. “You just can’t let that hair get ahead of you.” —Julianna Rose Dow, Fashion and Textile Studies
Jack Grassa/Westminster KC
The Mt. Hood red twill silk scarf.
Alosha Shkolnik, Packaging Design, Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design ’05, is associate art director at Old Navy. His team creates quarterly marketing campaigns inspired by the current culture and Old Navy’s brand: optimistic, democratic, and inclusive. The team brainstorms and executes concepts that translate across all marketing and advertising channels, including social media, billboards, TV/radio ads, publicity events, and in-store displays. “The advantage of working for Old Navy is the reach,” he says. “Millions if not billions of people will see your work and ideas.”
The fall 2016 Old Navy campaign was a take on the presidential election in the bold, strippeddown style of old political posters.
THE LIGHT FANTASTIC Jessica Abrams, Cosmetics Fragrance and Marketing Management ’16 Jessica Abrams, former director of product development for Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare, usually created sunscreens, serums, moisturizers, and masks. A few years ago, she was asked to develop something a lot less sticky. At Dr. Gross’s Fifth Avenue dermatology practice, LED light therapy is among the top treatments. The technology, developed by NASA as a way of growing plants in space, is used to stimulate collagen production, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, kill acne-causing Abrams wearing the SpectraLite EyeCare Pro bacteria on the skin, and improve skin mask. She recently became director of product clarity. Gross wanted to create an development at Shiseido's Makeup Center of Excellence. at-home version. Existing at-home LED devices required users to hold the device over each zone of the eye area for three minutes. Instead, Abrams’s team created a wearable mask that fits all face shapes and sizes and that addresses all zones at once. “We thought, let’s make it wearable,” says Abrams, who credits the CFMM program with helping her to think differently in her work. “It’s quicker, and there’s the cool factor.” They called the device the SpectraLite EyeCare Pro. Not only does it appeal to older women who want to address lines and wrinkles and millennials who want to prevent them, Abrams says it has also received an “overwhelming” response from men because it’s a gadget and looks really futuristic. In April, they launched the device on Sephora online to test the waters. It sold out in two days. —Alexandra Mann
Braswell reports from a crime scene.
Andréa Braswell, Advertising and Marketing Communications, is a news reporter for KMTV in Omaha. News markets are ranked by Nielsen from No. 1 (New York City) to No. 210 (Glendive, MT). Braswell started at No. 105 (Central Nebraska); Omaha is No. 74. She files one story a day: shootings, accidents, protests, and heartwarming tales from the community. Speaking with shooting victims can be hard to take, but she puts on “the job face” and tries not to cry. “Sometimes I think back and say, ‘Wow, that was really sad,’ but when you’re at work, you just have to put on armor and get the story.”
2013 Sean Ari Peterson, Computer Animation and Interactive Media, is a character animator at Sony ImageWorks in Vancouver. He has worked on Storks (2016), Smurfs: The Lost Village (2017), and The Emoji Movie (2017). Sketching by hand, he blocks out the characters’ key poses, then draws the in-between movements they use to get from one to the next. He found Emoji to be particularly challenging, because the characters didn’t have traditional body parts. To wit: if an emoji has no shoulders, how can it shrug?
Avocado pits are fragile, so it’s a challenge to make sculptures that don’t break.
Kristyn Mendez, Advertising and Marketing Communications, is a national account manager for specialty retail at Penguin Random House. “Specialty retail” is defined as a place that sells books but is not a bookstore; Mendez supplies the latest releases to about 15 apparel chains like Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Nordstrom. She scours the catalogs for Penguin Random House’s 250 imprints and suggests upcoming books for those outlets. 30 hue | fall 2017
Anthropologie cross-merchandises its home and kitchen sections with cookbooks, often choosing them by color.
Peterson helped animate Gene from The Emoji Movie.
Carolyn Wells, Advertising and Marketing Communications, carves avocado pits into Buddhas, sloths, dinghies, and more, by scraping away at them with vintage dental tools. To lengthen their shelf life, she coats them with Renaissance wax. A selftaught silversmith, she also makes chainmail jewelry. “With Game of Thrones and all the fantasy movies, people are into the medieval look,” she says. Her work, under the brand Wai Jewelry, is sold at boutiques on Long Island and on her website.
Francesca Canepa Zuniga, Fashion Merchandising Management, founded Port Zienna, a line of minimalist, oversized clothing made with Tencel and organic cotton, in June. The former Oscar de la Renta intern designs by draping: cutting fabric on the dress form, then translating the resulting garment into a pattern. She begins her process at the back of the garment, which is why so much detail is focused there.
A modal and chiffon top from Port Zienna’s debut collection.
what inspires you?
Regan de Loggans, Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice ’17
Hue asked graduating student Regan de Loggans about her outfit at FIT’s School of Graduate Studies hooding ceremony May 24. A member of the Choctaw tribe, De Loggans worked as a cultural consultant on the National Museum of the American Indian’s recent show, Native Fashion Now. The breastplate is buffalo bone. White colonizers hunted buffalo to extinction. Since bone hair pipe beads were difficult and expensive to obtain, the number of bones in the plate often indicates the status of a tribal member. I wear mine to signify the achievement of a graduate degree, as it is a communal celebration. The wampum bracelet is made of shell, which was used as a means of currency in the past. It was also used to document a treaty between the Dutch and the Iroquois, signifying a peaceful co-existence between American Indians and colonizers, which we all know was not the case. The pattern of the belt consists of two rows of purple wampum beads against a background of white beads. The rows of beads signify the courses of two vessels—a Haudenosaunee canoe and a European ship—traveling down the river of life together, parallel but never touching. The turkey feather signifies academic achievement. A Lakota Sioux artist beaded it for me to match the colors of FIT. The turkey feather is significant to my tribal region of the band of Mississippi Choctaw. The skirt is a handwoven Mayan piece from Guatemala. My mother is indigenous Mayan and I wanted to support both tribal camps I belong to, Maya and Choctaw. These pieces were gifts from my family.
For an extended interview with de Loggans, visit fitnyc.edu/regan-de-loggans.
227 West 27 Street New York, NY 10001-5992 return service requested
CRUNCHY CRITTERS Advertising and Marketing Communications Professor Michael Cokkinos serves up edible Asian forest scorpions at Hue’s Eat a Bug, Save the Planet culinary event on May 16. See “Buzz Feed,” page 18.